Daring Greatly
Three Action Thursday

The Importance of Vulnerability

2020 is here! If you are still looking for a few ways to stretch yourself from a growth mindset perspective then 3AT has a deal for you. You can get one free audiobook plus two Audible Originals through us by signing up for an Audible Account.  Maybe you are already an Audible member? If so, then you are getting all the benefits and you should “gift” someone else a membership.

I have a great recommendation for you for your first audiobook. It’s Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. If you need some social proof of Brené Brown’s success, look no further than her 2011 TEDx Talk, The Power of Vulnerability. At this writing, it has over 45 million views on TED.com alone. Dr. Brown is known in academic circles for her research into courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. The world knows her best as an uber-successful author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, and Daring Greatly, along with her new book, Dare to Lead, which is on my reading list. 

My book review in two sentences:

I know it is early, but I am confident Daring Greatly will be in my Top Five for 2020 and I honestly think this book will change and/or move you. Dr. Brown’s compelling message is this: vulnerability as a weakness is a cultural myth. Instead, in truth, it is our most accurate measure of courage. 

Three Action Thursday Takeaways:

There is a quote from the book that resonates perfectly with the challenges and hurdles we face when building authentic relationships (one of 3AT’s core tenets). 

Dr. Brown says, “Connection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. The power that connection holds in our lives was confirmed when the main concern about connection emerged as the fear of disconnection; the fear that something we have done or failed to do, something about who we are or where we come from, has made us unlovable and unworthy of connection.”

On a micro-level, this looks like deciding not to approach an acquaintance in middle school because of the pimple on your nose, not realizing that the other person has their own insecurities about something in their life (maybe it’s even a bigger pimple on their nose). On a macro-level, it can be utterly debilitating to one’s career and relationships – truly, to one’s LIFE – to live in shame over a past event or even a current struggle. We have to show up. We have to share our vulnerabilities. 

Dr. Brown also says, “Numb the dark and you numb the light.” You can’t have one without the other. 

Life-Changing “Aha Moment”:

We see vulnerability as courage in others but inadequacy in ourselves. Stated more plainly, what we consider our greatest vulnerability others consider courageous. Examples: battling a disease (cancer, alcoholism), admitting past failures (getting fired, getting divorced), admitting past shame (being abused, being overweight), and admitting painful life circumstances (loss of a child, homelessness). When we admit these “vulnerabilities” to others, in most cases they are viewed by them as courage. It’s possibly the worst trick our egos play on us: to make us feel inadequate for these types of things.


  1. Watch Dr. Brown’s TEDx Video, The Power of Vulnerability.
  2. Read her book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.
  3. Read the importance of accountability, my piece from last week in which I shared one of my vulnerabilities with you. I would love for you to read it. **
Bonus Action: Identify a personal vulnerability and pick a person to share it with.

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